York Sport has been forced to deal with further financial hardship after the expected money-making weekend, York Varsity, failed to raise any funds whatsoever.
York Varsity, the inter-university sports tournament between the University of York and local rivals York St. John, took place over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of February and included numerous fixtures and evening events.
In an email from Emily Scott, York Sport President, sent to Nouse before the event, it was stated: “We are hoping the Varsity events will be a big success, allowing the weekend to actually raise a bit of revenue for York Sport rather than becoming another drain on our limited financial resources.”
Due to a lack of attendance in YUSU organised evening events over the weekend, York Sport made a minor net loss. The expectation of its success, however, has led to a continuation of York Sport’s financial struggle.
The £1 overall financial loss has been attributed to poor publicity and student apathy regarding the evening events. Rory McGregor, York Sport Tournament Secretary, commented on the festivities, which included the York Varsity ‘Invasion’, similar to YUSU’s ‘Viking Raid’. He stated: “We did our best to publicise events all over campus but students don’t seem to get behind events run by York Sport. It’s an ethos that the University has, I don’t know how we’d get rid of it.”
Following budget cuts and loss of sponsorship from Deloitte LLP, York Sport has faced a tough financial year and the failure to make money from such an integral event in the calendar, especially in light of the upcoming Roses tournament being located in Lancaster next term, has left some dissapointed at the extent of publicity of the event.
A source close to York Sport claimed: “It’s common knowledge that York Sport’s margins are wafer thin; the failure to properly publicise York Varsity’s events has only exacerbated this problem, to the detriment of clubs. There were very few visible posters around campus for these events so it’s unsurprising that few attended.”
Cesca Dessain, President of Fusion and a member of the University 1st VII Netball team, commented on students’ feeling of a lack of affiliation to York Sport, and much more to their own individual teams, which may explain the lack of attendance at the York Varsity events this year: “Everyone is in their own teams and there just isn’t that much of a sense of a gathering of all teams.”
She continued: “We are all representing the University, we really should celebrate all together.”
Sam Asfahani, York Sport President-elect, said: “Varsity will always come second to Roses, we shouldn’t attempt to use it as a money-maker.”
When asked in February about the health of the York Sport finances, Scott replied: “I’m not sure healthy is the word I would use; like the clubs, York Sport is coping with its budget, but it’s certainly not a cash rich year.”